The latest news from academia, regulators
research labs and other things of interest
Posted: February 26, 2007
Nanotechnology supports the bioeconomy
(Nanowerk News) An obvious market for palm oil is the production of biodiesel. But to make palm based biodiesel useable in the cold climates of the Northern hemisphere, it has to be chemically transformed so that its cloud point is brought down.
However, the process aimed at increasing the cold tolerance of the fuel, is based on physically removing a fraction of the biodiesel, resulting in a by-product that may make up 15% of the primary feedstock. This reduces the overall energy balance of the fuel and negatively affects its economics.
A post over at the biopact blog describes how an Australian nanotechnology company has developed a process that makes use of the waste fraction to make renewable automotive and aviation oils and lubricants with a high added value. The company's patent pending process is based on the immersion of nano-sized molybdenum metal ball bearings to produce the oils and lubricants:
These enhanced oils and lubricants give the consumer the advantages of longer machine life from reduced ware and superior performance at high temperatures and pressures associated with "moly" lubricants. The oils and lubricants are highly biodegradable and have the promise of non-hazardous waste disposal. These new oils and lubricants also offer the promise of reduced crank case and other lubricant emissions to improve air quality.